Amazingly, monstera plants can live for decades if they have the proper growing conditions. To start your plant off right, you might want to consider repotting it, even if you have just bought it.
To repot your store-bought monstera, also known as a Swiss cheese plant, use fresh potting soil and a container with good drainage holes. If the plant looks like it’s rootbound, switch to a larger container.
Should I repot my Monstera I just bought?
We want to believe that everything storebought is perfect but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. When you purchase a monstera plant, you may have no idea how it was cared for or what steps have been taken to ensure its livelihood.
As a result, it’s best if you repot your Monstera plant, even if you just bought it. This can seem like a lot of work but as your plant can live for up to 40 years, consider it an investment in your purchase.
Where your purchase your Monstera plant will also be a deciding factor on whether you need to repot it or not. Large home improvement stores or even grocery stores don’t have enough staff to properly maintain plants. On the other hand, local gardening centers may be more dedicated to the well-being of plants so you can generally trust they have the knowledge to properly care for potted plants.
How to repot a store-bought monstera?
Find a container
You have two choices when it comes to using a container for your Monstera plant. You can use the same size as the one it came in or you can use a larger one.
To determine which size will work best, look for signs of overcrowding with your monstera. If the roots are balled up tightly or are pushing through the top of the soil, then these are signs it is ready for a larger container.
You can also choose whether you want to use the same container from the store or use a different one. Whatever you choose, the bottom should have good drainage holes.
If you use a plastic container, be sure to place it in a larger, decorative container to catch any water runoff. You can also use a clay pot that has a bottom plate to catch any excess water.
When it comes to repotting your monstera plant, be sure to use good, all-purpose potting soil. It should have a nice mixture of peat moss and coconut coir, which will ensure proper drainage.
The plant should also have fertilizer mixed in with it. If not, purchase a blend of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to start your plant outright.
Remove and replace
After you have all your materials, gently remove the root structure of your monstera from the original container. Lay it aside on a towel and place fresh potting soil either into the old container or into a new one.
Put the roots into the container and add more potting soil to fill up to the top. You can gently move the soil around to create a firm support for the plant but don’t press too hard as you want the soil to remain light.
Monstera plants need to be watered every one to two weeks. However, you should always water after repotting to allow everything to settle and to give the plant more nutrients to get used to its new environment.
Check that the water drains properly as you don’t want it to pool around the roots. Then, maintain a regular watering schedule.
Things to consider when repotting monstera
Repotting can get a bit messy, so plan your task accordingly. Outside on a workbench is the best method but you can also use old towels on a kitchen table to help with cleanup.
If you need to use a trowel to remove the roots from the original container, make sure it is clean. Otherwise, you can accidentally spread the disease.
Use new soil
Always use new potting soil or soil from a bag that hasn’t been open for too long. Potting soil can go moldy quite quickly if it isn’t stored properly.
Signs of disease
As we said earlier, there is no guarantee about what state your monstera plant will be in when you bring it home. So, repotting is an excellent time to really examine the plant.
Look for any signs of disease or bacteria, such as discoloration around the leaves, stem, and roots. Any bad odors are an obvious sign that something is not right.
What you do with this information is now up to you. If you know a lot about plants and are confident in your abilities, you can try to salvage your plant, which is one of the purposes of repotting.
However, you have every right to go back to where you purchased your Monstera and ask for a refund. Just make sure you save your receipt and don’t wait too long to bring it back.
Do Monsteras go into shock after repotting?
There are certain factors that can make a monstera plant go into shock once you take it home. This can include temperature, light, and humidity changes.
Repotting can also make your plant go into shock but with proper care, the effects won’t be detrimental.
To ease your plant in this transition, decide on one area that it will thrive in and don’t move from it. Indirect, bright light is the best for Monstera and will make them happier, so pick a location that has these attributes.
Monstera plants also like humidity. If your room has dry air, make it a habit to mist around the plant to help recreate its natural habitat.
As for temperature, consistency is key. While your home will naturally cool off at night, make sure you don’t place your monstera anywhere that has a cold draft or temperatures that fluctuate too wildly.
While you don’t have to repot your monstera immediately after buying it, it is a good habit to get into. Repotting allows you to examine the plant in detail to ensure it is healthy. It also allows you to control its growing conditions so you can be confident it will last for decades to come.